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Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

In the US, Reuters reports that JPMorgan Chase is cutting prices for some of its credit card customers and making Visa shoulder some of the cost as the bank seeks to fight off competition from traditional banking rivals and disruptors like PayPal and Square.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which facilitates cooperation between central banks and encompasses the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, has appointed a new chairman: German central bank president Jens Weidmann, City AM reports.

Weidmann has been a critic of the ECB's quantitative easing policy, saying it bails out irresponsible governments and allows them to put off reforming their economies.

In India, white label ATM operators (ATMs operated by non-banking entities) are having trouble meeting the targets set for them by the central bank because they cannot get banks to sponsor the ATMs in small towns and cities.

White label ATMs (WLAs) were intended to boost financial inclusion but must have a sponsor bank to manage their cash operations. Under the central bank's scheme for the ATMs, each operator must open a minimum of 9,000 of them within three years. Thus far, only 9,600 WLAs have been rolled out by seven operators since the launch of the scheme in 2013.

The new bank tax introduced by UK Chancellor George Osborne could raise double the £6 billion predicted for it over the next five years, according to calculations by global accountancy firm EY.

The eight percent surcharge on banks' UK profits has been criticised by challenger banks who are meeting with treasury officials this week to discuss it further. The Labour Party in the UK has also sought to amend the tax to mitigate its effect on smaller banks.

Also in the UK, the practice of seeking to attract new customers at the expense of loyal customers is gaining ground, after Halifax raised its 'welcome' for those switching to its current account from £100 to £125. First Direct recently also raised its incentive to switch from £125 to £150 for those who apply to switch through MoneySupermarket.

Typically, the costs of such incentives are met by the fees generated from existing customers.

Greece's troubled banking sector faces a new challenge as, according to CoinTelegraph, the country's first bitcoin exchange (BTCGreece) plans to install 1,000 bitcoin ATMs in partnership with bitcoin platform Cubit.

"We are creating the ecosystem of bitcoin and blockchain solutions in the Greek market," BTCGreece founder Thanos Marinos told CoinTelegraph. "That will include the roll out of 1,000 ATMs and solutions for the e-commerce and tourism industry."

Finally, Russia's VTB Bank has been selected by the Russian government to partner the post office service in operating a post bank. The partnership intends to operate 15,000 branches in post offices within three years.

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